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Teen Ambassadors Against Crime Leadership Program
Crimestoppers Teen Ambassadors Against Crime (TAAC) Leadership Program will help students gain a better understanding of the criminal justice arena, including the role that students can and do play in community safety. The goal of the TAAC program is to give students an opportunity to directly engage with law enforcement and other community partners while becoming educated and empowered to serve as crime prevention role models in their schools and communities.
TAAC teaches students about the costs and consequences both personally and economically of crime, their rights and responsibilities as citizens, and their ability to bring about meaningful change through advocacy and service, while grooming them as future leaders who will leave a positive footprint in our community. Ambassadors will be challenged to address the "no snitch" culture and to foster the message of empowerment of our Safe School Program. The 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 TAAC classes enjoyed the program so much that many asked to remain on as Mentors for this year as well. Please click this link for photos and quotes from their experiences.
Interactive Hands-On Education
The TAAC program is designed to teach youth how to examine violence and law-related issues in the context of their schools and communities and how to apply what they learn to real-life circumstances. Students learn about the different types of crime, the costs and consequences of crime, conflict management strategies, how crime affects communities, and what community prevention programs and services are available to them. The program increases social responsibility in teens, educates them about the law, reduces their potential for victimization, and engages them in making their homes, schools, and communities safer.
Teen Ambassadors selected for 2012-2013 will have the opportunity to participate in:
- ROPES Leadership Course with the Louisiana National Guard
- Teen Peace Summit featuring professional speakers, community leaders, and musical acts.
- Engaging with Community Resources: Listen to and interact with guest speakers who are prominent members of the local crime prevention and criminal justice community
- Mock Trial
- Tour of Orleans Parish Prison and conversation with rehabilitated parolees.
- Networking for student internships and the opportunity to compete for a possible scholarship.
- Service learning projects where teens will apply what they have learned to help inform and inspire their peers to be involved in crime prevention
Highlights from the 2010-2011 TAAC Program
Televised Teen Crime Forum
In partnership with WWL-TV, our 2010-2011 TAAC students participated in a televised Teen Crime Forum in the fall of 2010. Students engaged and asked tough questions of community leaders regarding their concerns about crime in our schools and communities. Panelists included New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand, Judge Tracey Flemings-Davillier, St. Tammany School District Superintendent of Administration Mike Cosse, and Dr. Andre Perry of Loyola University's College of Social Sciences. The Forum was hosted by WWL-TV anchors Sally-Ann Roberts and Eric Paulsen, and will aired twice in early December, and was ranked first in viewership ratings for the time slot! Click here to see footage of the Teen Crime Forum!
Dee-1 Fight Against Crime Rap Video
In December 2010, local positive rapper Dee-1 worked with TAAC to create a rap video entitled Fight Against Crime with positive messages about the consequences of crime and the importance of prevention. Click here to see behind-the-scenes footage of the video shoot!
Engagement With Community Resources
TAAC students have participated in a series of site visits and engage in dialogue with community resources, including:
Local law enforcement professionals (site visits to police/sheriffs office)
Courtroom procedures (site visit to courtroom, meet with judge/district attorney)
Criminal procedures (site visit to prison/jail)
Additional resources including the U.S. Attorney Office and Office of Juvenile Justice
Federal Law Enforcement Partners including U.S. Marshals, the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Teen Peace Summit
TAAC students assisted in the planning and execution of our successful Crimestoppers Teen Peace Summit. They assisted in the judging of our two students contests, seeking a Safe School Hotline mascot and Student Peacemakers. They served as ambassadors to fellow teens, moderators, and law enforcement panel. Click here for more information about the Teen Peace Summit.
Service Learning Project
Through service learning projects, teens apply what they have learned to address a community problem they have identified. They work together to assess community needs, set goals, plan and execute a project, and reflect on the process. Throughout their participation in the TAAC educational sessions and engagement with community representative, TAAC participants formulate their own service learning projects which they bring back to their schools to help inform and inspire their peers to be involved in crime prevention.
Get Involved with TAAC!
To learn more about our Teen Ambassadors Against Crime Leadership Program, and how you or your school can be involved for the 2012-2013 school year, please contact the Crimestoppers office by calling (504) 837-8477. You can also email one of our staff for more information:
President and CEO, Darlene Cusanza: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Safe School Coordinator: email@example.com